Josh Vitters' Struggles and Other Bullets

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Josh Vitters’ Struggles and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Pirates were sliding HARD before they faced the Cubs a week and a half ago (and were swept). But, assuming the Pirates don’t make the playoffs now, I wonder if, in the years to come, Pirates fans will remember the Cubs as “the crappy team that sunk them.”

  • Jeff Samardzija is adjusting to life on the bench, after being shut down a week and a half ago. “It’s tough, it’s really tough,” Samardzija said of not playing, per ESPNChicago. “You get into a routine and your body knows when it’s ready to go. I’m not used to sitting and watching, it hasn’t happened in a long time. But there are other ways you can participate. If I can help out during a game, that’d be great too. Obviously, mentally, you can help out in certain situations, just paying attention in general. There’s always something you can learn.” And you can still help out by pinch running, as Samardzija did on Saturday.
  • A little more housekeeping: if you’re looking for some sports action, that is to say, a place that offers online betting, why not check out sports betting here?
  • Dale Sveum says Josh Vitters, who sat against a lefty yesterday, needs to keep working on routine plays. “It’s the routine plays that seem to be giving him the most problem,” Sveum told Bruce Miles. “The spontaneous plays, he’s made all those, in great fashion, really. He’s got up and made good throws on the dives and the body-control plays, he’s done well on. He’s coming and gotten a lot better since the first day I saw him.” Sveum added that one of Vitters’ issues is staring down the runner when he fields an easy grounder, rather than just focusing on first base. I find it interesting that Sveum generally discusses Vitters’ defense when asked about the youngster’s struggles – the kid is hitting .110/.159/.207. I suppose defense was the question mark coming into 2012 for Vitters, so maybe that is the proper focus, regardless of the offensive line. It’s only 88 plate appearances, after all.
  • Anthony Rizzo says his walk-off homer against the Cardinals on July 29 tops his grand slam from yesterday. That was a fun game, indeed. Feels like a hundred years ago.
  • Jaye Chapman once again comes in for love, this time for keeping things tied yesterday despite (1) a leadoff triple, (2) having to face Andrew McCutchen, and (3) having a runner break for home when Chapman’s back was facing the plate. Chapman struck out McCutchen, and, after the next batter, deftly swirled and fired, nailing that runner at the plate. Dale Sveum is obviously a fan, and Chapman’s going to be in the bullpen mix next year, “September stats” or no.
  • Alfonso Soriano will join elite, elderly company when he hits his next homer: he’ll be just the fifth Cubs player, age 36 years or older, to reach 30 homers and 100 RBI, joining Hank Sauer in 1954 (41 home runs, 103 RBI, age 37), Andre Dawson in 1991 (31 home runs, 104 RBIs, age 36), Fred McGriff in 2002 (30 home runs, 103 RBIs, age 38) and Moises Alou in 2004 (39 home runs, 106 RBIs, age 37).
  • Starlin Castro tried to catch a pigeon with his glove yesterday. Which, like, OK.
  • A discussion of socially-positive investing, featuring Tom Ricketts’ Incapital.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at, in part, the AL divisional races.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.